A young crypto trader who flaunted his wealth on Instagram has been shot dead at the wheel of his red Porsche Boxster. Gunmen unleashed a hail of bullets on 19-year-old Wesley Pessano Santarem as he drove through the Brazilian city of Sao Pedro da Aldeia.
Chilling video footage filmed in the aftermath of the broad-daylight shooting on Aug. 4 shows Santarem motionless in the driver’s seat of his car with his white T-shirt soaked in blood. There is a visible bullet wound in his neck.
The shocking killing comes as gangs are increasingly targeting so-called “Insta-bragging” bitcoin traders and influencers after they have flaunted their wealth on social media. Despite being just 19 years old, Santarem apparently had made a fortune as a cryptocurrency trader and investor for at least three years.
On Instagram, he flaunted his wealth and expensive lifestyle to his 133,000 followers plus a YouTube channel with 15,600 subscribers where he gave trading tips. His last Insta post was a photo of him sitting on the red Porsche — in which he was shot — as he flicks through wads of cash. According to reports, Santarem, who lived in the nearby city of Cabo Frio, was driving to the hairdresser’s to get a haircut when he was ambushed.
The killing took place in front of bystanders, who said the killers were driving a silver Volkswagen Voyage. Cops say Santarem took at least four bullets, including one to the head. Santarem’s pal was traveling in the passenger seat at the time and was injured in the shooting.
He was taken to hospital in Cabo Frio while Santarem’s body was taken for a post-mortem examination. The injured man’s identity has not been reported. The police have not revealed the killers’ identities or the possible motive for the crime. Some local media are reporting it was a case of mistaken identity.
Experts believe around 8 percent of people could be targeted by criminals due to what they share on social media — even using pictures to pick out loot, or to find entry points to people’s homes.
Cryptocurrency trader Kieren Hamilton was stabbed and robbed by a machete-wielding gang after he had boasted about his lifestyle on Instagram. The two masked robbers raided his Greater Manchester home in November 2018 and demanded his valuables.